New York Agriculture in the Classroom | October 2018
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Important Dates:

Oct. 3- Top Cut: A Beef Contest Registration Due

Oct. 5- National AITC Workshop Proposals Due

Oct. 15-  White-Reinhardt Mini-Grant Applications Due

Oct. 15- Gardens Grant  Applications  Due

Nov. 2- Teacher of the Year Applications Due

Jan. 7- North Country Jr. Iron Chef Registration Opens

March 1- NYFB Scholarship Due

June 18-21- National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas

Top Cut: A Beef Contest 
Registration Deadline Approaching
The Top Cut: A Beef Contest is an exciting program for middle and high school students that will help them engage with beef production and cooking, while also focusing on developing a marketing plan. The cross-curricular program entails students to creatively develop a marketing strategy for a product or recipe of their choice. 

Each grade-level division will be vying for the chance to win $250 and a barbecue grill for their classroom from the New York Beef Council. 

NEW for 2018: A template for contest submissions has been added! 

The deadline for contest registration is October 3. Visit the  contest page  to learn more!
Submit a Workshop Proposal for the 2019 Conference and Enjoy an "AgVenture in the Natural State"
National Agriculture in the Classroom is seeking workshop proposals for the 2019 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference 'AgVenture in the Natural State' set for June 18-21 in Little Rock, AR. 

Preferred workshop topics include, but are not limited to, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math), GMOs, hydroponics, aquaponics, educational games, virtual reality approaches to education, food labeling and learning with school gardens.  Learn more and submit a workshop proposal today! 

The deadline for workshop proposals is
Oct. 5, 2018. If your workshop proposal is accepted, you will receive $50 off your conference registration per workshop.

New York Agriculture in the Classroom's 
Teacher of the Year: Nominations Open
Nominate yourself or an amazing educator who integrates agriculture regularly in their curriculum. This top honor is awarded each year to a teacher, or a team of teachers, who are committed to ensuring that their students are agriculturally literate. The winning nomination will earn an expense-paid trip to the National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. All nominations are due  Friday, November 2 , 2018. 

Visit the New York Agriculture in the Classroom  website for the more information and to read about the past winners.  Complete the  application   today!

White-Reinhardt Mini Grants
The Spring 2019 Cycle is now open! The application will close  October 15 . Read the application deadline and apply for a mini-grant here
Whole Kids Foundation Gardens Grant Program
The Whole Kids Foundation is dedicated to growing healthier kids through better nutrition, one bite at a time. Created in partnership with FoodCorps, the Garden Grant program provides a $2,000 monetary grant to support a new or existing edible garden at either a  K-12 school, a n on-profit working in partnership with a K-12 school, or a  non-profit organization. Applications are due by 6pm on October 15 and applicants will be notified of the results by February 15, 2019. 

North Country Jr. Iron Chef
Starting January 7, 2019 schools in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, and Hamilton counties can register online for the North Country Jr. Iron Chef competition. Teams will compete by creating healthy recipes using a combination of fresh produce and USDA commodity foods. Register and learn more at

NY Farm Bureau 2019 Agricultural Youth Scholarship
Graduating high school seniors who plan on continuing their education to prepare for a career connected to agriculture are eligible to apply for the New York Farm Bureau 2019 Agricultural Youth Scholarship. Three scholarships in the amounts of $1,500, $1,200, and $1,000 will be awarded. Applications are due via email or postmarked by  March 1, 2019

Teacher Resources
STEM Education Programs
Explore the  science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs Cornell University carries out across New York State that help children get a leg up in a wide variety of fields. From space exploration, to computer coding workshops, to molecular biology lessons in the field, these programs enhance the educational experience and open up new career possibilities for thousands of students ranging from preschool  through high school. Learn more about these programs and hear from students participating in them here .
apple basket
All About Apples
This website from the US Apple Association provides a wealth of information about apples from harvesting to history to varieties to trivia. This website could be a great addition to a lesson or used to aid students in individual projects. 

Creative Solutions to Ending School Food Waste
"Americans waste enough food every day to fill a 90,000 seat football stadium. Approximately one-third of all food is wasted at the retail and consumer levels. While research has shown that food wasted by children is similar to the rest of the U.S. population, there are many ways schools can reduce food waste and teach students about the impact it has on the environment and in their community." Think your school may have a food waste problem? Checkout this website to learn about some possible solutions or engage your students in project/problem-based learning to determine the best solution. 
Elementary Resources
Pumpkins... Not Just for Halloween
Students will learn a variety of subjects including history, science, nutrition, and math through the study of pumpkins. Activities include estimating the size and weight of pumpkins, sprouting pumpkin seeds, and making pumpkin pie in a bag. This lesson is ideal for Kindergarten-2 and grades 3-5

Baa, Ram, Ewe... Sheep Tales
Students will learn about sheep while developing skills of inference by determining the difference between what's real and what's make-believe. This lesson is best for grades Kindergarten-2. 

Free Printable Agriculture Career Books
Three new easy read chapter books are available from  Feeding Minds Press  and  My American Farm . The printable books explore agriculture related careers. The idea behind the stories is to create curiosity around the highlighted careers and thought processes professionals use to complete their work. Best for grades 4-5. Download the books here.
Middle School/ High School Resources
Serious Cereal Science
In this lesson , students will develop an appreciation for the extensive materials and career fields provided by agriculture, specifically as related to cereal grain production, processing, and consumption. Activities include playing a game in which students become agronomy specialists, mapping the top grain-producing states, and watching videos about careers related to grain production.

Beef: A Healthy Option
Students will learn about the nutritional content of beef and use role playing and research to describe why zinc, iron, protein, and vitamin B12 are important to healthy living. This lesson would be a great addition to the Top Cut Beef Contest. 

Good Taste: Honey Bee Forager Food Preference 
In this lesson students learn about the foraging behavior of bees and hypothesize if the bee's behavior is related to its ability to detect sugar. Students will then determine which type of foraging bee would be best for pollination or honey production. Students will learn about the process of gel electrophoresis as a genetic tool and analyze DNA to identify strains of bees who are better pollen-collecting bees or better nectar-collecting bees.

What Happens When Farming Goes High-Tech?
Soil maps, GPS guidance, and even drones are becoming critical tools for modern farmers. These methods of precision agriculture can help increase yields and save farmers a surprising sum along the way. See how its being done in this video

October Book Nook
Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie
Pumpkins! Who can resist the sight of big, round, orange pumpkins ripening in a field? Children piling off school buses to pick one out. Carving out funny faces, smiles, or scary frowns to illuminate Halloween doorsteps. Making room for that last piece of pumpkin pie after a delicious Thanksgiving feast. In this book, pumpkins aren't just a fruit, they're a symbol, a scent, a flavor of the entire season.

Up, Up, Up! It's Apple-Picking Time!
Read the story of Myles and Amber as they wake up early to visit Grandma and Grandpa's California apple orchard. They pick apples all day long, make apple cider, and snack on fresh apple pie. Before they know it, apple-picking time is over and apple-selling time has begun. This warmhearted story brings three generations of a family together to celebrate and share in the working of a fall harvest.

Anno's Magic Seeds
The magic begins when a wizard gives Jack two magic seeds telling him to eat one and bury the other and it will produce two more seeds. This Jack does, but the next year, instead of eating one, he buries two, and in the fall, four magic seeds are produced. As Jack's magic seeds grow by ones and twos, so will readers' enjoyment as they follow the story and experience a cycle of mathematical progression. 

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